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Scheduling a Dementia Defense Hearing with the DMV

SCHEDULING A DMV HEARING FOR DEMENTIA

 

How will I learn the DMV is suspending my License for Dementia?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is an enormously powerful government agency entrusted to issue the privilege to operate motor vehicles to those drivers who qualify.  The DMV has also been empowered with the obligation to monitor all drivers to ensure they always maintain the Skill, the Knowledge, and the Physical/Mental Fitness to drive.

In those cases where the DMV learns that a person may suffer with Cognitive Decline, Dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, the department will initiate a process to determine the fitness of that person to drive.  As powerful as the DMV is however, the only methods used for contacting a driver are:

  • Contact by US Mail
  • Contact in person

 

 

US Mail:          90% of contacts that occur between the DMV and individual drivers happen by way of “Notices” or “Orders” sent through the United States Postal Service.  Everything the DMV does is time sensitive to it is critically important to check your mail frequently and to ensure the DMV always has your correct mailing address.

In-Person:        In some instances, the DMV will personally notify a driver of an action to suspend or revoke their driving privilege.  This normally occurs when a driver is at a DMV Field Office for a written test or a driving test.  If an examiner feels that an individual driver is displaying symptoms of Cognitive Decline to a degree that public safety is immediately jeopardized, the department can immediately suspend that person’s driving privilege pending review.

What initial steps will the DMV take against my privilege?

If the California DMV (DMV) receives information from any source that a person may suffer with Cognitive Decline, Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the department is mandated by law to initiate an action to ensure public safety.

Depending upon the source of the information, or the clarity of the allegation, the Department will take one of the following steps:

Notice of Re-Examination: If the DMV receives information that is vague or is received from a source other than a physician, the Department will initiate a Re-Examination of the person’s ability to drive.  A Re-Examination is basically an investigation conducted by the Department prior to the suspension of a driver license.The driver will receive a “Notice of Interview Appointment” by US Mail.

The Re-Examination process can include the following: Written Test,Vision Test ,Driving Test, Production of medical reports, and/or Comprehensive interview

If you have received a “Notice of Interview Appointment” the Department is giving you an opportunity to protect your driving privilege before it is suspended.  It is critically important that you be aggressive and thorough at this stage because if you are successful, not only do you avoid the suspension of your driving privilege; you also prevent a suspension from appearing on your driving record which can save you thousands of dollars in increased insurance rates. Because winning a Re-Examination can be so critically important, you may wish to engage the services of a DMV Defense Expert to ensure you are fully prepared to face the DMV.  California Drivers Advocates has been assisting drivers to win their Re-Examinations for many years.  Call us to assist you.

Direct Suspension: If the DMV receives its information from a physician, or if the information received clearly suggests that you pose an immediate threat to public safety, the Department will bypass the Re-Examination Process and move to direct suspension.  Moving to direct suspension demonstrates the DMV’s belief that you must be taken off the road immediately and until you demonstrate your fitness to drive.  When the DMV moves to direct suspension, the driver will receive an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the US Mail.

If you have received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail, this does not mean the DMV may suspend your license.  The Order means that the suspension has already been ordered and you are off the road.  The Order of Suspension/Revocation will tell you the reason for the suspension, the effective date of suspension, and that you must contact the DMV within 14 days to request a hearing (10 days if notice if given in-person).

The DMV Administrative Hearing process is run like a mini trial. Evidence is introduced, experts may testify and the accused driver will be examined. Much like the Re-Examination, the DMV Administrative Hearing can include: Written Test ,Vision Test, Driving Test, Production of medical reports and other affirmative evidence, Witnesses may testify, The driver will be examined and cross-examined, and/or Introduction of legal closing argument.

Winning a DMV Administrative Hearing is a complicated legal proceeding and the DMV will do little, if anything, to assist you.  Winning this type of hearing requires a commanding knowledge of the California Vehicle Code, the California Evidence Code, the California Code of Regulations, as well as DMV protocol and doctrine.  This is normally too much for a California Driver to master.  Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. With decades of training and experience in the field of Administrative Hearings, we can provide you the best opportunity for prevailing at your hearing.

 

How do I schedule a DMV Hearing for Dementia?

In a perfect world, a driver would receive an “Order of Suspension” in the mail, pick up the telephone and simply request a hearing.  Well, the world of the DMV is anything but perfect.  When scheduling a hearing, there are several important steps to be considered:

  • Where will the administrative hearing be convened?
  • Who will be the assigned Hearing Officer?
  • How do I prove I made a timely request for a hearing if the DMV says I did not?
  • Should the hearing be conducted “in-person” or by “telephone?”
  • How to request a copy of the DMV’s Discovery?
  • How to request a specific date for hearing?
  • How will the collection of evidence impact the setting of the hearing date?

Because there are so many things to be considered when setting a DMV Administrative Hearing for Dementia, you should enlist the assistance of an expert who knows the DMV procedure.  Call the DMV Defense Experts at CDA for assistance.  We have represented drivers in every Driver Safety Office from Redding to San Diego.  We know the players and we know the game.  Call us, we can help.

Call CDA Today……… We can guide you through the maze of the DMV.

Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates for a free assessment of your case.  Even though most forms of Dementia prove to be progressive, you may still be at the point where you can enjoy your driving freedom.  Don’t let the government infringe on your rights without a fight.  Call CDA today.

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